[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examines how students who met the current recommendations for vigorous physical activity (VPA) of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) differ from peers who did not reach these standards with regard to self-reported burnout, before and after controlling for light physical activity and moderate physical activity. A sample of 144 vocational students (Mage =16.2 years, SD = 1.13, 98 males) completed the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, the Shirom-Melamed Burnout Measure, and the School Burnout Inventory. Bivariate correlations revealed that only VPA was associated with reduced burnout. Both the ACSM and CDC guidelines were useful to identify significant differences in burnout symptoms between students who met versus did not meet the standards. Health policy makers should develop strategies to integrate more VPA in the lives of adolescent students so as to reach a minimum of 60 minutes per week.
Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology 02/2015; · 2.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives: Given the persistence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and its major impact on everyday life, it is important to identify effective treatments. In additional to pharmacological treatments, psychotherapeutic treatments are also highly effective. The aim of the present study was to investigate, among a sample of patients suffering from PTSD, the influence of an additional cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) intervention on their symptoms of PTSD, depression and anxiety, and autobiographical memory.
Methods: A total of 40 patients suffering from PTSD (mean age: M = 31.64 years; 78.6% female patients) and under psychopharmacological treatment were randomly assigned to an intervention or control condition. The intervention consisted of 10 group sessions (one 60-90 minute session per week) of CBT. At baseline and 10 weeks later, a series of self-rating and experts’ rating questionnaires were completed.
Results: Over time, symptoms of PTSD depression, and anxiety decreased; however, greater improvement was observed in the experimental than the control condition. Likewise, as a general pattern of results, memory performance improved over time, though again this improvement was greater in the experimental condition.
Conclusions: Compared to a control condition, additional CBT improves the treatment of PTSD, with respect to both symptoms and autobiographical memory.
Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 01/2015; · 2.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Poor sleep is a major health concern, and there is evidence that young adults are at increased risk of suffering from poor sleep. There is also evidence that sleep duration can vary as a function of gender and body mass index (BMI). We sought to replicate these findings in a large sample of young adults, and also tested the hypothesis that a smaller gap between subjective sleep duration and subjective sleep need is associated with a greater feeling of being restored.
A total of 2,929 university students (mean age 23.24±3.13 years, 69.1% female) took part in an Internet-based survey. They answered questions related to demographics and subjective sleep patterns.
We found no gender differences in subjective sleep duration, subjective sleep need, BMI, age, or feeling of being restored. Nonlinear associations were observed between subjective sleep duration, BMI, and feeling of being restored. Moreover, a larger discrepancy between subjective actual sleep duration and subjective sleep need was associated with a lower feeling of being restored.
The present pattern of results from a large sample of young adults suggests that males and females do not differ with respect to subjective sleep duration, BMI, or feeling of being restored. Moreover, nonlinear correlations seemed to provide a more accurate reflection of the relationship between subjective sleep and demographic variables.
Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 01/2015; 11:107. · 2.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives. We tested the hypothesis that sleep training would improve emotional, social and behavioural functioning in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) compared to children with ADHD without such intervention and to healthy controls. Methods. Forty children with ADHD were randomly assigned to intervention and control conditions. Parents of 20 children with ADHD were instructed and thoroughly supervised in improving their children's sleep schedules and sleep behaviour. Parents of the other 20 children with ADHD and parents of 20 healthy children received general information about sleep hygiene. At baseline and 12 weeks later, parents and children completed questionnaires related to children's sleep and psychological functioning. Results. Relative to the control groups, children in the intervention group improved sleep quantitatively and qualitatively (F values < 3.33, P values < 0.05). The intervention group children reported improvements in mood, emotions, and relationships (F values < 2.99, P values < 0.05). Parents reported that their children improved in physical and psychological wellbeing, mood, emotions, relationships, and social acceptance (F values < 3.02, P values < 0.05). Conclusions. Training and monitoring parents of children with ADHD in regulating and supervising children's sleep schedules leads to positive changes in the emotions, behaviour and social lives of these children.
The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 12/2014; 15(8). · 4.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Objectives: To assess the relationship between lifetime suicide attempts (SA), serum lipid values, and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in patients with bipolar disorders (BPD). Methods: Eighty patients with BPD took part in the study (M=40.60 years). After psychiatric diagnosis, demographic data, SA, and serum lipids were measured and MetS was calculated. Results: Seventy percent reported at least one SA. 52.5% suffered from MetS. Suicide attempters had higher cholesterol values. SAs were associated with a family history of suicide, current mood state, and lower educational level. SAs were unrelated to MetS. Conclusions: In patients with BPD, against expectations, the occurrence of SAs was associated with higher cholesterol values. Serum lipid values are not suitable as a biological trait marker to predict SAs.
International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice 11/2014; · 1.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: The administration of statins seems to be a promising new avenue in the
treatment of patients suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD), though patients suffering from
severe MDD remain unstudied in this respect. The aim of the present study was therefore to
investigate, in a randomized double-blind clinical trial, the influence of adjuvant atorvastatin on
symptoms of depression in patients with MDD.
Methods: A total of 60 patients suffering from MDD (mean age: 32.25 years; 53% males) received a
standard medication of 40mg/d citalopram. Next, patients were randomly assigned either to the
atorvastatin group (20mg/d) or to the placebo group. Blood lipid values were assessed at baseline and
on completion of the study 12 weeks later. Experts rated depressive symptoms via Hamilton
Depression Rating Scales (HDRS) at baseline and 3, 6 and 12 weeks later.
Results: HDRS scores decreased over time; the significant Time by Group interaction showed that
symptoms of depression decreased more in the atorvastatin than in the placebo group. Compared to
the placebo group, in the atorvastatin group cholesterol, triglyceride, and Low Density Lipids (LDL)
significantly decreased, and High Density Lipids (HDL) significantly increased over time. HDRS scores
and blood lipid values were generally not associated.
Conclusions: The pattern of results suggests that adjuvant atorvastatin favorably influences symptoms
of depression among patients with severe MDD. Given that after 12 weeks of monotherapy and
adjuvant atorvastatin patients were still moderately to severely depressed, more powerful treatment
algorithms such as augmentation and change of medication are highly recommended.
Journal of Psychiatric Research 11/2014; · 4.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Very preterm children are at higher risk to develop behavioral and emotional problems, poor sleep, and altered hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical activity (HPAA). However, knowledge on objective sleep and HPAA as well as their role for the development of behavioral and emotional problems in very preterm children is limited. Fifty-eight very preterm children (<32nd gestational week) and 55 full-term children aged 6–10 years underwent one night of in-home polysomnographic sleep assessment. HPAA was assessed with four saliva samples in the morning (morning cortisol secretion) and four saliva samples in the evening (evening cortisol secretion). Parents completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) to assess children's behavioral and emotional problems and a subscale of the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire to assess sleep disordered breathing. Very preterm children showed more behavioral and emotional problems (SDQ total behavioral/emotional difficulties, emotional symptoms), poorer sleep (more nocturnal awakenings, more stage 2 sleep, less slow wave sleep), and faster decreasing evening cortisol secretion compared to full-term children. Across the whole sample, more stage 2 sleep and/or less slow wave sleep were associated with more SDQ total behavioral/emotional difficulties, hyperactivity-inattention, and peer problems. Lower morning cortisol secretion and lower evening cortisol secretion were associated with more conduct problems. In very preterm children, increased SDQ total behavioral/emotional difficulties was partially explained by less restorative sleep including more stage 2 sleep and less slow wave sleep. This result points to the importance of restorative sleep for the behavioral and emotional development of very preterm children during middle childhood.
Journal of Psychiatric Research 10/2014; · 4.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: We tested the hypothesis that objectively assessed sleep at kindergarten level
predicts sleep and psychological functioning in adolescence.
Method: Thirty-seven adolescents aged 14 years (SD = 1.3), of 67 participants assessed as
preschoolers, took part in a follow-up study nine years later. Participants completed a series of
questionnaires related to sleep and psychological functioning. Sleep-EEG clusters of poor, normal and
good sleepers assessed as children nine years earlier were used as predictors for subjective sleep and
psychological functioning in adolescence.
Results: At the age of 14, those who were normal and good sleepers rather than poor sleepers at the
age of five had more positive psychological functioning on dimensions including mental toughness,
peer relationship, self-esteem, and perceived stress, but did not differ in current sleep patterns.
Conclusions: Objectively assessed sleep patterns at the age of five are predictive of aspects of
psychological functioning during adolescence.
Journal of Psychiatric Research 10/2014; · 4.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated effects of metacognitive detached mindfulness therapy and stress management training on hypertension and symptoms of depression and anxiety, as compared to a control condition. A total of 45 female patients (mean age: M = 36.49 years) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: metacognitive detached mindfulness therapy, stress management training, and the control condition. Blood pressure and symptoms of depression and anxiety decreased from baseline to post-test, to follow-up. Group comparisons showed that blood pressure and symptoms of depression and anxiety decreased more in psychotherapeutic groups than in the control group. Psychotherapeutic treatment of hypertension reduced blood pressure and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Positive effects were observable at follow-up 8 weeks later.
Journal of Health Psychology 10/2014; · 1.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Studies on adolescents and adults show that romantic love (RL) is associated with favorable emotional states. However, data on these associations are scarce for adults. The aim of the present study was therefore to explore the associations between RL, symptoms of depression, anxiety, hypomania (bright side and dark side) and sleep among a sample of adults. Method: A total of 844 participants currently in love (M = 24.79 years, 75.8% females) took part in the study. They completed a series of questionnaires related to romantic love, symptoms of depression, anxiety, hypomania (bright side and dark side), and sleep. Results: An increased state of RL was associated both with the bright (BRHYP) and the dark side of hypomania (DAHYP). Relative to participants with BRHYP, participants with DAHYP reported stronger symptoms of depression and state anxiety, and poor sleep quality. Conclusions: The pattern of results adds to our knowledge that in adults RL is not entirely a joyful and happy period of life. Rather, data suggest that for young adults in love, bright vs. dark side of hypomania was associated with a different quality of psychological functioning and sleep. We conclude that experiencing romantic love might be a critical life event associated with symptoms of depression and anxiety and poor sleep.
International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice 10/2014; · 1.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: The aim of the present study was to exploring to what extent the prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in childhood was associated with birth order, gender, and the prevalence of ADHD and mental retardation (MR) in siblings, as compared to healthy controls.
Methods: Data from 200 children with diagnosed ADHD (mean age: 11.13 years; 10.5% females) were compared to data from 200 healthy controls (mean age: 11.0 years; 27.5% females). Data were related to symptoms of ADHD, birth order, gender, family size, and the occurrence of ADHD and MR in siblings.
Results: Compared to controls, occurrence of ADHD was related to male gender and to the occurrence of ADHD-related symptoms in siblings (odds ratio: 13.50). Birth order and MR were not associated with occurrence of ADHD and ADHD-related symptoms. ADHD-related symptoms increased, if a further sibling suffered also from ADHD.
Conclusions: Among a sample of Iranian children suffering from ADHD, child ADHD and ADHD-related symptoms were related to male gender and occurrence of ADHD in siblings. Moreover, birth order was unrelated. The fact that symptoms of ADHD-related symptoms were increased, if a further sibling was suffering from ADHD, and decreased, if a further sibling was suffering from MR, is intriguing and needs further explanations.
International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice 10/2014; 18(4). · 1.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This exploratory study was designed to compare four types of exercise activities in Swiss university students. A sample of 201 medical students (136 women, 65 men, M=23.2±2.4 years) and 250 exercise and health sciences students (144 women, 106 men, M=22.3±2.2 years) participated in the study. They completed the Perceived Stress Scale, the Depression Scale and the Office in Motion Questionnaire. Interaction effects between stress and exercise activities were analysed using hierarchical regression analyses, after controlling for age, sex and academic discipline. Frequent participation in ball sports and dancing were associated with decreased depressive symptoms among students with elevated stress levels, whereas no such relationship existed among their less stressed peers. No stress-moderating effect was found for aerobic exercise. Weight lifting was only associated with lower depressive symptoms among students with low stress levels. The present findings suggest that, among Swiss university students, certain exercises have a stronger potential to moderate the relationship between stress and depressive symptoms than others. Future research could analyze whether personalized exercise programs, which aim to satisfy participants' individual needs, are exponentially beneficial for stress management.
Perceptual and Motor Skills 09/2014; · 0.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preclinical and clinical studies support a role for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the pathophysiology of stress-related mood disorders. Furthermore, BDNF seems to be linked to antidepressant action. Available pharmacological treatments for depression are characterized by significant limitations with low efficacy and a major delay until treatment response. This demonstrates the urgent need for more efficient and fast-acting antidepressants. Besides ketamine, sleep deprivation (SD) as well as partial sleep deprivation (PSD) are effective and fast-acting antidepressant methods. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of SD are not well understood; especially possible mechanisms explaining the rapid, but transient antidepressant effect of SD are unknown.
Journal of Psychiatric Research 09/2014; · 4.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Literature is a very interesting field by itself but it could be even more interesting for psychiatrists if we look at its bidirectional effects in the attitudes of general population. Literature reflects conscious and unconscious attitudes of people on one hand and it can actively affect their minds on the other hand. According to this special point of view, literature could serve as a very precious material for psychological analysis. This analysis might be even more valuable if our subject of research is a world-famous poet like Hafez, who had a great influence in the cultures of East and West. The UNESCO, the United Nations Educational and Cultural Arm, officially declared 1988 the "Year of Hafez". Goethe recognized Hafez as his Spiritual Master and as a poetic genius and so did Ralph Waldo Emerson of the United States albeit in a different context. The first aim of the present study was to determine to what extent items of a current questionnaire of love match themes of love found in Hafez‘s poetry. Then, we investigated gender- and cultural differences in the importance of these themes. To do so, first, themes of Hafez‘s poems were compared with the items of Fisher‘s ―Being in Love Inventory. Second, a set of items was presented to Iranian and Swiss female and male adult participants (N=325; age (years): M =31.29; SD =16.28; 161 Iranian; 164 Swiss).
Our results confirmed that Hafez‘s themes of love are still up-to-date, though some subtle cultural and gender-related differences exist. Hafez's love sonnets reflect the kind of love that appeals to the typical Persian and Swiss adults such as turning away from the world or ambivalent attitude towards a separation in their love affairs. The limitation of this study is that we had to demystify the inner secrets and deeper understanding of Hafez's poetry of love by taking a reductionistic approach. According to Jung's belief: "poetry just can be the subject of psychological phenomenology. Since nobody can penetrate the heart of nature you will not expect psychology to do the impossible."
the XVI World Congress of the World Psychiatry Association, Madrid, Spain; 09/2014
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: To assess the association between self-perceived exercise exertion before bedtime and objectively measured sleep.
Methods: Fifty-two regularly exercising young adults (mean age = 19.70 years; 54% females) underwent sleep-EEG recordings 1.5 hours after completing moderate to vigorous exercise in the evening. Before sleeping, participants answered questions regarding degree of exertion of the exercise undertaken.
Results: Greater self-perceived exertion before bedtime was associated with higher objectively assessed sleep efficiency (r = .69, p < .001); self-perceived exertion explained 48% of the variance in sleep efficiency (R2 = .48). Moreover, high self-perceived exercise exertion was associated with more deep sleep, shortened sleep onset time, fewer awakenings after sleep onset a shorter wake duration after sleep onset. Results from a multiple linear regression analysis showed that objective sleep efficiency was predicted by increased exercise exertion, shortened sleep onset time, increased deep sleep and decreased light sleep.
Conclusions: Against expectations and general recommendations for sleep hygiene, high self-perceived exercise exertion before bedtime was associated with better sleep patterns in a sample of healthy young adults. Further studies should also focus on elderly adults and adults suffering from insomnia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of physical activity as a factor that protects against stress-related mental disorders is well documented. Nevertheless, there is still a dearth of research using objective measures of physical activity. The present study examines whether objectively assessed vigorous physical activity (VPA) is associated with mental health benefits beyond moderate physical activity (MPA). Particularly, this study examines whether young adults who accomplish the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) vigorous-intensity exercise recommendations differ from peers below these standards with regard to their level of perceived stress, depressive symptoms, perceived pain, and subjective and objective sleep. A total of 42 undergraduate students (22 women, 20 men; M = 21.24 years, SD = 2.20) volunteered to take part in the study. Stress, pain, depressive symptoms, and subjective sleep were assessed via questionnaire, objective sleep via sleep-EEG assessment, and VPA via actigraphy. Meeting VPA recommendations had mental health benefits beyond MPA. VPA was associated with less stress, pain, subjective sleep complaints and depressive symptoms. Moreover, vigorous exercisers had more favorable objective sleep pattern. Especially, they had increased total sleep time, more stage 4 and REM sleep, more slow wave sleep and a lower percentage of light sleep. Vigorous exercisers also reported fewer mental health problems if exposed to high stress. This study provides evidence that meeting the VPA standards of the ACSM is associated with improved mental health and more successful coping among young people, even compared to those who are meeting or exceeding the requirements for MPA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Allopurinol is a drug used primarily to treat hyperuricemia. In patients suffering from acute mania, increased levels of uric acid are observed, and symptom improvements are associated with decreased levels of uric acid. Accordingly, a purinergic dysfunction is plausibly a causative factor in the pathophysiology of mania. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigating whether allopurinol has benefits for patients treated with sodium valproate during acute mania.
Experimental Procedures: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study lasting 4 weeks was performed. The intention-to-treatment population included 57 patients; 50 concluded the study per protocol. Patients suffering from BPD and during acute mania were randomly assigned either to a treatment (sodium valproate 15-20 mg/kg + 300 mg allopurinol twice a day) or to a control condition (sodium valproate 15-20 mg/kg + placebo). Experts rated illness severity and illness improvements (Clinical Global impression), and extent of mania via the Young Mania Rating scale. Uric acid levels were assessed at the beginning and end of the study.
Results: Compared to the control group, symptoms of mania decreased significantly over time in the treatment group. Uric acid levels declined significantly in the treatment as compared to the control group. Probability of remission after 4 weeks was 23 times higher in the treatment than the control group. Lower uric acid levels after 4 weeks were associated with symptom improvements.
Conclusion: The pattern of results from this double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled study indicates that adjuvant allopurinol leads to significant improvements in patients suffering from acute mania.
European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 08/2014; · 3.68 Impact Factor